Archive for the ‘Corporate’ Category

Expectations 2

February 9, 2008

There are two ways to get a job priced:  flat rate, and time & materials.

I am working on pricing now for a customer that wants a flat rate so that they can “control their costs.”  We don’t bill extra, and any pricing we give them based on flat rate will be based off of our hourly rates x how long we think it will take, + a “fudge factor” that ensures that we don’t lose money.  If the job goes well, we keep the fudge factor as extra profit (is it peanut butter fudge?).  That’s money the customer could have saved.  If the job goes badly, then we’re still covered, so we don’t lose either way.  Who does?  The customer. 

The only reason I see that a customer would want pricing like this is if they don’t want the hassle of paperwork, and if they care more about ease of use (1 number that won’t change) rather than saving money.  It’s a large company, so I can see this being the case… but it still offends my sense of good business practice, as it’s likely to be more expensive for them than an hour or two of some accounting clerk’s time spent processing more paperwork.



February 9, 2008

We’re getting new furniture this weekend.  The case goods (wood furniture) is going away, to be replaced with modular product (polymer).  I’m not at all jazzed about loosing the wood (more homey/friendly appearance), but I will be gaining some workspace.  I’ll be used to it within a week.

We were told yesterday that we would need to pack this afternoon and be out by 5 so they could start knocking things down.  I went to lunch at 12:45, and returned to the office around 2:40 to find many of the cubicle walls knocked down, including all of the ones that seperate (aka shield) my area from the general environment.  Noisy, no privacy, etc.  I caught up on e-mails and urgent stuff, packed my contents into only 2(!) move crates (the shared stuff was packed while I was at lunch) and was gone by about 3:30.  Sometimes it seems that the people who work (physical work, not office work) at my company are either early or late, depending on their convenience and when something is scheduled to start (early for anything in the afternoon, late for 15% of the morning jobs).

As you can probably tell from the above, it was very disruptive to my afternoon.  It kept me from finishing a couple of projects.  We are supposed to come in an hour early on Monday to set up our stuff.  Yeah, right.  My Monday’s shot between unpack/re-set-up and some deadlined projects to make sure that people on commission get a decent check this week/month (worker/sales).

I knew the 5pm thing wouldn’t happen, but I didn’t expect it to be this bad.  No apologies from anyone about the disruption or the lost pay, either.  I’m not particularly offended, just amused at the apparent lack of control/planning.  It might be that while I was at lunch everyone started packing, and management just decided that everyone was going to be non-productive anyway.